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KKM: Thrust, Parry

Title: Thrust, Parry
Character(s): Conrad, Gwendal, Gunter, Yozak
Rating: PG
Genre: Slash
Spoilers: Third Season, Episode 88
Summary: Gunter's first year as a military instructor brings about a few unwelcome changes.
Disclaimer: Kyou Kara Maou © Tomo Takabayashi and Studio Deen
Notes: Completely Episode 88's fault. All of it. The Lake People bit comes from an excerpt in the novel translations, iirc, where Gunter admits to Yuuri that he has inherited some of their characteristics. Thanks to MD and ME for the betas. Feedback appreciated!

The von Christs have always had a reputation for intellect and beauty, and Gunter von Christ was no different. People who greeted him on his first day at Blood Pledge Castle brazenly stared -- the Maou and her Regent, notwithstanding -- and when the students at the Military Academy heard that he'd be coming over to teach them the way of the sword, many a lewd and unseemly joke passed through their eager lips.

The rumors only grew worse when Gunter arrived at the school, and it was then that Conrad caught a first glimpse of his future teacher. He immediately recognized the pale blue of his hair and the lavender of his eyes as traits of the Lake People, a race he'd very rarely had occasion to see. Although he could understand why his fellow students indulged in fawning over the man's gifted features, one thing remained firm in Conrad's mind -- this man could not possibly teach swordplay.

"People that beautiful don't really belong here," he muttered once to Yozak, who was quick to pester him for details on the famous new teacher.

"People that pretty have never known what it's like to bloody their hands, you mean."

"That too."

"I hear his swordplay's rather good." Yozak waggled his eyebrows. Conrad merely looked at him until he stopped. "Not that sort. 'Cause I also hear His Prettiness is as frigid as the ice capes in Dai Shimaron. Wouldn't surprise me if his britches are frozen over from lack of action."

"At midnight, he caught two soldiers going at it once," Conrad bleakly reported. "He dragged both men by the ears and spent thirty minutes lecturing them about premarital sex."

"Ah, see? What self-respecting war veteran would forbid soldiers from releasing sexual tension during these hard times?"

"I don't know what Mother expects me to learn from him."

"Would you really rather have your old teacher back?" Yozak snickered at Conrad's answering frown and disgusted shiver. "Didn't think so. At least this one's easier on the eyes. Count your frigging blessings, you should see our teachers someday. You all are practically spoiled over there."

There was some truth to Yozak's words, it seemed. What used to be words of praise and worship over the instructor's beauty quickly turned sour when Gunter made it very clear, very quickly, that anyone among his students who did not take him seriously quickly met the flat of his blade, or spent several hours shining rusty swords after practice. He broke hearts as easily as he declared, "For the glory of Shin Makoku!" Although this made for very entertaining mess hall gossip, Conrad was content enough that none of it concerned him.

Yozak's curiosity, however, was something else. And try as he might, Conrad found himself swept up in the same desire for intrigue as everyone else.

"The Lake Princess attends weekend dinners with your family, doesn't he?"

"Yes," Conrad replied. He gave Yozak an inquiring glance. It wasn't really any source of interest for him, as his mother was a frivolous woman and quite known for her large, fanciful dinners. Gunter often sat close to the Maou, several chairs away thanks to his brothers, so it was an easy enough fact to ignore.

"Seems he goes there once midweek, too. Status report and all that." He felt a thread of apprehension upon seeing the impish grin on Yozak's face. "Right as I deliver messages to Lord von Voltaire, even."

Much as he wanted to deny it, Conrad was fascinated. "You want to spy on him?"

"It's often a long wait after I deliver a message. Don't tell me you're not curious as to what he's saying about you to your own mother."

He was. Though it was against his better judgment, he gave his support of Yozak's new past time, mildly comforted by the mere fact that even if he didn't, Yozak would do it anyway.

Weeks passed, however, and Yozak had surprisingly little to report. Just a few snippets of conversation -- Gunter relaying general student progress and the expected turnout for the year, rate of competency, so on and so forth. The most specific he'd managed to get was a private, solemn conversation with his mother about how Conrad was "unresponsive to his teachings."

"You lazy ass," was Yozak's helpful commentary.

The uneventful reports plodded on, and, at length, Conrad found himself getting into a bit of trouble with not only Gunter, but his fellow Mazoku students as well. All those nights being away after curfew and a constant lack of participation during class developed some sort of resentment among the others, and soon he had a feeling he was the subject of some of the disgruntled gossip flying about during mealtimes.

It had gotten to the point where not even the instructors could ignore it, and he thought Gunter might have drawn the short straw, tasked as he was to dole out his punishment. After his fourth night out after curfew, and a day spent sleeping under the shade of a tree rather than practicing his parrying, Gunter came up to him and calmly reported that he expected Conrad to stay after practice tomorrow and to proceed to the detention hall. "Cancel whatever plans you've made," were his last words, and when Conrad merely nodded in reply, he walked off to resume teaching the other students.

It was something of a novelty for him, being punished. Often, the most people did around him was whisper as he passed, or glare from across a safe distance. He'd seen worse treatment with Yozak, but being the Maou's son spared him most of the indignities that other heretical children faced in their day to day lives.

Well. Perhaps that was about to change.

When he arrived in the detention hall, Gunter was there, standing calmly at attention. Conrad took his time with laying down his sword and outer armor on a bench corner while his instructor relayed what was expected of him for the next hour.

"Rag and polish on the upper shelves. The swords are in the crates." He followed Gunter's glance to the appropriate areas. "Let me know if you are sensitive to the fumes, and I'll clear the air every few minutes."

Conrad blinked lazily after Gunter finished speaking. This was punishment? "That won't be necessary," he replied at length, while settling down near the crates and picking out a rusty sword from the pile. He wryly thought about the strap marks he'd seen on Yozak's arms or back the few times his friend's boisterous nature got the better of him, and found himself snorting in amusement.

After the fourth sword, the monotonous movements calmed Conrad somewhat, his attention drifting in and out of the moment. He didn't notice when exactly Gunter had stopped watching him and had seated himself on the far end of the opposite bench, several sheets of paper laid out in front of him, and an inkpot closeby. The soft scratch of his quill added to the soothing glide of the polish, and silence reigned in the room for the better part of an hour.

He played a bit with the angling of the sword in his hand, catching the dying rays of the fading sunset on the blade and casting them on random parts of the room. Gunter didn't seem to notice when the tiny slivers of light drifted near his eyes and slid over the long length of his pale hair. Stray strands kept falling over his shoulder, Conrad noted, and Gunter would occasionally sweep them back with his hand. He wondered why the instructor never tied it, as it was surely a nuisance during his more rigorous training.

Or perhaps it wasn't. He remembered watching Gunter in one of his artful demonstrations involving a wooden training dummy and a series of quick, graceful spins that rendered the mannequin quite obsolete. Much as he admired the artistry, the technique itself was impractical in actual combat, and Conrad's attention had drifted after that.

He recalled, however, how that fall of hair moved and snapped with every one of Gunter's thrusts -- never in a position to hinder his line of sight. The amount of skill required to accomplish that was something he himself did not possess.

And why would I want to? Conrad thought, as his gaze shifted from the pale hair to the gentle arc of his teacher's neck. He moved his gaze upward and saw that there was a smudge of black ink on the tip of his nose and across his cheek.

Conrad set the polished sword among the others and retrieved another rusty one. As he was about to scrub, he surprised himself by breaking the silence. "Does this manner of discipline actually work?"

Gunter seemed surprised as well. Conrad felt a small measure of satisfaction when his teacher started, the ink bottle sliding treacherously close to the edge of the bench before a frantic hand managed to steady it. "You'll find," Gunter replied, his voice relaxed, "that the novelty wears off very quickly after the second or third offense."

It was a while before Conrad replied, well into his next rusty sword. "This only encourages students to commit a second offense."

"Most are quick enough to do that, yes."

"Then what's the point?"

"The point being," and Gunter's reply this time carried a note of amusement, one which had Conrad lifting his gaze back to meet his teacher's, "that it's extremely entertaining for me to watch students try not to faint from either boredom or the polish fumes after five continuous hours of this same task."

He felt a sudden discomfort, confronted with the mischief in those eyes, and the open quality to his smile and look. A corner of Conrad's lips lifed in a small half-smile in response, which seemed to please Gunter even more. His laugh was brief, but warm, released in that calming baritone that rumbled pleasantly in Conrad's stomach.

He dropped the clean sword into the crate, unmindful of the loud resulting clang. He stood and made his way to where his things were stacked. Behind him, he heard a surprised and puzzled "Conrad?"

He turned his body a bit to reply over his shoulder, "It's been an hour."

"Ah..." Conrad kept his gaze neutral as Gunter blinked in realization. He looked out the window at the fading sunset, as if just realizing the time. "Yes. Quite right."

With his things in hand, Conrad nodded formally and took his leave.

Despite the easy quality of the punishment, Conrad wasn't too keen on returning for reasons he could not voice. He still slept or avoided his classes, but he kept his schedule relatively decent, making sure to be back in his quarters before the bell tolled and marked the start of curfew.

Days later, he met with Yozak in the market square, who seemed eager enough to head to their usual table at the local bar. "Not much on our Lake Princess, but," he began, leaning forward with a sly glint in his eyes, "Lord von Voltaire's been looking at him quite a lot during the midweek family dinners."

"Ani-ue?" Conrad's eyebrows furrowed. He'd noticed nothing of the sort during his own weekends in the castle. But then, Gwendal often sat a chair away from him and wasn't in his line of sight. "...He's never been interested in anyone before."

"Yeah, remember that nickname we had for him back at the quarte--"


Yozak snickered. Unrepentant bastard. "Anyway. Good to know the eldest royal prince isn't made of stone, but I think it'd take more than his shy schoolboy stares to melt our Princess's frigid pair of panties."

"Ani-ue's always set high standards for himself," Conrad replid in a distracted fashion, his mind still going through the past few dinners for any clues he may have missed.

"I don't think Lake Princess has noticed it yet, but maybe you'll want to spare your brother a little heartache or two."

Conrad shook his head. A frown had settled on his face, one whose cause he didn't want to examine too closely. "I'm sure he's heard of the rumors around the military academy by now. It's his business whether he chooses to pursue him or not."

"Can't imagine being rejected would improve his mood." His friend shrugged. "And I'd have to deal with that, even if you don't. But we started a betting pool on it if you want in."

Conrad thought about it. In the end, he went back to the Military Academy a pouch of gold lighter, and with a promise from Yozak to split the profits.

Luck wasn't particularly generous those days, Conrad learned, as the next time he met with Yozak, his friend was wearing an annoyed frown and asked for two hundred coins by way of greeting.

"I'm starting to learn that it's never a good idea to underestimate you or any of your siblings." Yozak muttered while he pocketed the gold. "We lost big money on this one."

"What happened now?"

"I have to go back soon or I'll get a thrashing. Let's just say Lord von Voltaire's made a move, and it wasn't unwelcome."

Conrad frowned upon hearing those words. He tried to hold Yozak back by catching his arm, but his friend quickly shrugged his hand off and started jogging back down the road. "Wait!" Conrad yelled after him. "What move?"

"It's on his hair!" was the only reply he got.

It was during class the following day that he found it right where Yozak had said. Nothing on his instructor's expression or conduct indicated that anything out of the ordinary had changed, but his normally free hair was swept immaculately back over his shoulders that day, held in place by the tight constraints of an elaborate, emerald clasp wrapped in gold and silver.

Conrad immediately recognized it. He had seen it often enough on the mantle in his brother's room, when they were younger. "Just an heirloom," Gwendal had gruffly explained, but the careful way in which he handled it spoke of a far higher regard.

He felt no rest for the remainder of that day. His attention remained on his instructor and that glinting, emerald clasp, so comfortable in its nest that it seemed it had always been there.

"Lord Weller," Gunter's voice called out from down the quiet hall. Conrad halted in his steps and turned to meet his instructor, his body at ease and his expression neutral. Gunter merely continued speaking when he'd caught up to his student. "This is the fifth time you've been out past curfew. Is this some sort of psychosis, or do you really just like polishing two hundred swords this much?"

It was a while before Conrad answered. He accompanied his loose words with a slight tilt of his head. "They certainly hold more appeal than your classes."

The mild friendliness so apparent on his teacher's face immediately vanished. "Conrad."

Conrad's eyes remained hard, but he had little trouble summoning an easy smile. "Sorry. That was out of line."

"You could put a little more effort in that fake apology." Gunter sighed when Conrad said nothing further. "Three hours in the detention hall after practice, for the next six days--"

"That's a pretty hairclasp."

The non sequitur seemed to throw Gunter completely off-guard. Conrad repressed a smirk. "...Thank you," came the hesitant reply. "It was a gif--"

"It's my stepfather's, as I recall." Gunter's eyes narrowed a little at the interruption, but Conrad ploughed on. "Did Gwendal give it to you?"

An uncomfortable look passed over Gunter's face. It was gone when he spoke again. "As a matter of fact--"

"Did you let him fuck you?"

Gunter's stunned, wide-eyed silence lasted for all of three seconds before the hard edge of his palm dug deep into Conrad's right cheek. The sound it elicited rang like a clap of thunder across the empty corridor. Conrad tasted blood in his mouth, wincing a little when his fingers felt around the edges of a cut on the corner of his lips. It was a while before he lazily raised his eyes to his instructor again, taking careful note of the furrowed eyebrows, narrowed glare, and the reddened hand resting against the base of his neck. The perfect picture of affronted dignity.

"Just what do you think you're doing here?" Conrad said, in much the same relaxed manner as his earlier statements. "There's a war on the horizon, and you're flirting with the Maou's eldest son. Did you leave your pampered life in your estates just to raise your status and secure your place in my brother's bed?"

Gunter's eyes narrowed further, and though his hand trembled against his chest, it stayed there this time. Conrad knew -- the realization dawning on him -- that he was either hitting a sore spot, or that the accusations might not actually be unfounded.

This gave him pause. He never really considered it -- not before, and not even as he spoke the words -- but the possibility that there actually could be a glimmer of truth to what he'd said spurred his anger.

"You speak and preach of proper conduct and etiquette to boys who could be dead by next week. How effective do you think your frivolous swordplay is going to be when your students actually enter the battlefield with their enemies hacking at them from all sides?" Conrad bit off the rest of what he'd wanted to say. He'd lost some of his reserve and was vaguely aware that he was gripping his sword tightly at his side, his angry gaze boring into the man in front of him, but he was beyond caring.

He felt disgust rise up from his stomach at the sheer lack of response.

The silence grew too oppressive. He shook his head sharply and spun on his heel, taking a few steps in the opposite direction before halting again. "I don't know if your goal here is to teach, or to raise your noble's rank in Blood Pledge Castle," he quietly said, "But if it's the latter, then just climb up to my brother's room, spread your legs, and be done with it and stop wasting my time."

Within his room, restless and wide awake in the middle of the night, Conrad wondered if he should have waited for a reply.

The air was thick with tension as graduation neared. Conrad felt it most acutely in the barracks, the stifling air hinting at sleepless nights and countless hours of practice, so, for once, he was actually a little glad about having to ride all the way back to Blood Pledge Castle for the weekend.

He'd just handed his horse to a stable boy and was crossing the courtyard to meet with his mother, when movement off to the side made him halt. Gwendal was crossing the opposite corridor. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, Conrad was about to continue on his way when he heard the unmistakable voice of his instructor calling out Gwendal's name. Instinct made him pause and discreetly sidestep behind a group of trees, careful not to disturb the leaves as he leaned forward to catch a clear view.

The call had been clear, and Gwendal had turned and stopped upon hearing it, waiting for the shorter man to catch up to him. He'd never seen his brother's posture that stiff or tense before, although the harsh quality usually so prominent in his eyes was absent. It was a curious look, and Conrad found himself staring.

Gunter caught up to him, and they seemed to be exchanging pleasantries. But after a while, Gunter's expression lost some of its warmth -- his eyes were kind, but his voice was not. Conrad felt a brief pang of regret that Yozak wasn't there to read their lips when his instructor bowed his head, reaching behind him to remove something from his hair.

A cold sensation swept through Conrad's spine as that emerald clasp unlatched and let loose a tumble of fine silver hair. Gunter brought the hairpiece to his front and took his time closing the fancy latch. Gwendal would not have been able to see his expression, but Conrad could see it plain as day -- regret. It cleared as soon as Gunter raised his head to meet his brother's eyes again and held out the hairclasp in his hand, his mouth forming words that, although Conrad wasn't in proximity, he could hear just as clearly as if he were: "I'm sorry, but I cannot accept this."

His brother took the whole ordeal like a soldier -- his expression closed and posture at attention, even as he raised his hand to take the proffered jewelry. Gwendal said something in reply, and Gunter took a formal step back and bowed low, whatever parting words he was saying obscured from Conrad by the fall of his unrestrained hair. Gwendal bowed in turn -- swift and dismissive. Neither man said anything further as Gunter walked away in the same direction he had come running from.

It was minutes after when Conrad felt a deep ache settle in his chest, for he never once took his eyes off his brother after Gunter had left, and Gwendal had remained unmoving in that same spot. Expression closed, and hand firmly wrapped around the emerald clasp.


Follow-up Note: I'm humbled to report that mdseiran has written a possible lovely sequel, which can be found here: The Intricacies of Matchmaking.



I completely love this. ♥ ♥ ♥

- MD
I couldn't tell when you kept asking me to make Gwendal feel better!


Well I was feeling really really bad for the poor guy. :( I still expect a sequel to make it all better! :D

- MD
Poor Gwendal! He's always the loser in these situations, eh?

How did I miss episode 88? I just went back to watch it. What a classic with Gunter totally schooling the "rebel" Conrad.

So glad I read your very enjoyable story and watched the ep.!
Poor guy has the face for it :( *gives him a cuddle*

That's one of the very few filler episodes I really enjoyed, glad to hear you saw it! I agree, a true classic in the series.

Thank you for the kind words, and for taking the time to say so. I appreciate the feedback!
Yes, I'm a sucker for any of the episodes that gave some back story/history to the main characters and the kingdom.
oh dear, this is very lovely. it's been a while since i read any gwen/gun, and this fic really makes me a little nostalgic.

it's quite sad for gwendal. they way you're writing it gave much interpretation from the reader. so, what conrad said is true then? or was there really any love between them? as you describe it, Conrad did feel a little hurt when he saw his brother like that, so did he felt any sense of satisfaction knowing that he's right? afterall, he saved his brother from the bad overambitious guy, right?

or is conrad the bad guy here? he should have known that something important as that heirloom must have represents something special, right? so did he really hate gunter that much to deny that man's happiness? Or was it just that he never thought gunter worthy of him and his family then?
I haven't read much gwendal/gunter lately either :( *clamors for more Gunter fics*

Oh my, so many questions! I'd really rather leave the interpretation up to the reader, as I suck at elaborating :( I don't really see anyone as being the bad guy, though, as they all have their own reasons and motivations for acting the way they do, but Gwendal does end up being collateral damage for Conrad's brief outburst.

Sorry if this isn't helpful :( I'm grateful for the comment and the kind words, thank you!


Hmm, I read this fic again and again. ehe, just so you know, you made a very good job of writing this. this story is so well written that every character was striking in their own way. and the fact that you made people thinks so much about it is a bonus too. (therefore you can't blame me for over analyzing - no?)

In my opinion, the most plausible explanation is - Conrad never likes Gunter from the start and he never thought Gunter is worthy - in teaching him much less as a member of HIS family. and that outburst of his is part of his frustration of underestimating his instructor and his brother possibility of being together, which made him lost his bet. and the conrad that you portrayed do not fancy losing in any way, and since the heirloom represents something special, he snapped - because he is rebellious in nature. Sure, it's hurt to see your brother sad because of what you did but, it'll pass away definitely.

However, if Conrad is right on the spot - that gunter is using his family to gain fame, then we can conclude that gunter is indeed a mazoku with pretty face, incompetent in 'actual' battle (bust so damn smart amd sneaky) and no heart or feelings whatsoever (therefore is incapable of love) and his brother might be so smitten with gunter that he made a dumb decision of giving his precious heirloom to some incompetent overambitious mazoku. and the reason gwendal stood silently after gunter 'rejected' him was because the spell was broken and he realized how dumb he was. - wow, this version of story is kinda amusing you know. it is totally unique!

hmm, but if it's really a true love then, conrad has to be prepared of getting kicked by a horse. i'm pretty sure that there's a proverb saying that 'One who get in the way of true love will be kicked by a horse'. (^_^) lol
OH MY GOD! i forgot to log in. sowwie... (>,<)
LOL Quite alright, much better than replying with the wrong LJ account, I think. Which I've done several times in the past :(

I'm amazed and extremely humbled at how much thought you've put into this. I think your angle on how Conrad assumes Gwendal would get over what's happened is pretty interesting and pretty IC. Those brothers are so comfortable around each other that they've taken to assuming a lot about each other's personalities -- often accurate, as close relatives often are, but sometimes also tends to fall off the mark. Must think on this some more!

Loved reading your interpretations, very insightful! :D And someone should tell Conrad that proverb!
interpretation could be done with a good writing fic. rather than thanking me, i thank you for the lovely fic. (^_^)
You are such an amazing writer! Simple yet filled with a few twist that made it very entertaining, I hope you write more to this?
I've only ever thought of this as a one-shot, so I don't think I'll be writing any sequels :( Sorry about that! I'm happy you enjoyed it, I appreciate the kind words.
Ooh, I love this. I interpreted it as Conrart making Gunter really think about what he was doing with Gwendal - his words making him wonder if he was just looking for some peace in a time of war or if he really did care about Gwendal. And I love that it's all messy, and complicated, especially if you add in Conrart/Gunter, as well.

Lovely stuff, thanks for sharing! =)
I'm glad you liked this! And Conrad's words definitely would have made Gunter think. Much as he's long-lived and experienced, I imagine he'd still be a bit green with regard to some matters, perhaps including being a military teacher. And it's fun to mess those brothers up for some reason. Thank you for your kind comment, and for taking the time to read!
What a touching story. So many facets to be explored. Is Conrad regretful for telling Gunter what he considers to be the truth? Does he rue the day he spoke so harshly to Gunter? Then, Gunter returned the hair clasp - so those hurtful words hit the mark. Now, Gwendal, the innocent party is the one who is suffering loss. This is a fantastic tale . Hope you continue.
I can't really see a sequel very clearly at this point, sorry :( I don't really write often in general, as I'm not very good at it, but this particular story grabbed my by the horns, so to speak. Thank you for the kind words and for commenting, if a sequel does grab me, I'll be sure to write one!
This was so incredibly melancholy, and I really felt for both Gwendal and Gunter. (And even a little for Conrart, although he came across as a much less sympathetic character, given the whole teenage-rebellion and insensitivity thing he had going.)

I would really love to see a sequel to this, or a look at the situation from Gunter or Gwendal's perspectives.

Is there any chance of that happening? *bats eyelashes*
Thank you! Yes, it's probably hard to blame Conrad as well as he was in a fairly difficult position at the time. A sequel isn't really clear to me at the moment, so I don't think I'll be writing one any time soon, sorry :( If I ever get another plunnie for this, I'll definitely write it though!

Many thanks for the kind comment!
I almost want to write a story in response to this. There's so many possibilities that I could explore.
If you do decide to write one, I would definitely love to read it!
this is absolutely wonderful - I like how i's actually painful and not really resolved and ... I was thinking that, even if it was just Konrad being mean because he dislikes Gunther, these rumours would be difficult to bear by a man of honour and so, even if what Konrad said was not true, Gunther would still have no option but to refuse Gwendal - which is kind of tragic and sad and honourable (and I kind of hope this persobal interpretation fits in your story...)

oh, I hope this made sense - I really liked this and stories I like always make me incoherent.... thanl you so much for writing and sharing!!!!
Thank you for reading! I'm glad to hear you liked this. And it certainly does, I really enjoyed reading your interpretation. It still boggles me that other people are putting a bit more thought into something I wrote!

I agree with what you said, though. From someone as long-lived as Gunter, however much he might have been attracted to Gwendal, at that stage in his life he was still just a potential romance. His pride as a mazoku would take precedence. However, for someone like Gwendal, who never really does things lightly, well...

I shouldn't enjoy torturing the man so, but he bears pain so damn well :(. I imagine all three of them survived this incident with great regret, for different reasons.

Sorry for the long reply, and thank you for such kind words.
:) ah, Gwendal is so long-suffering and stoic, no wonder he's making you enjoy torturing him :)
(besides, we have a saying in Greece: 'whoever loves, torments' [the loved one]). (and should I feel guilty for enjoying watching him suffer, because he suffers so beautifully? *G*)

And Gunter may appear silly and besotted with Yuuri and all that, but he is a very capable and dependable commander. I still love that ep where he goes off to teach Yuuri's teaching of tolerance and so on (the one that's Gunter in the wild, wild, west, imo *G*) and Yuuri realizes how many things Gunter does - and does them well. So, his pride would definitely take precedence
(but -- oh, it would be so nice to see him find love - with Gwendal, if possible! *G*-- so said the besotted fangirl...)

a good story is one that makes people think, you know? and yours was a very, very, very good story! that's why people want to speculate and discuss the characters' behaviour! and, thank you for being so kind as to discuss it!!! :):)
This is amazing! I love this. Some parts make me giggle and smile (I like the Conrad&Yozak interaction) and other parts make me just... ah, so lovely. :) Love the part about "the dying rays of the fading sunset on the blade" and Gunter's hair, for example. I only wish this fic was longer. :) I feel a little bad for Gwendal because he does seem sad here, but to be honest, Conrad/Gunter = OTP! :D (And yes, that's completely episode 88's fault. It was an eye-opener!) I'm so glad I found this fic.
P.S. Now I've also read the comments to this... Hm... it seems like I read this story diffrently than many others. I wonder why... The way I see it is that Conrad definitely do not like, respect or trust Günter at first, but that he's learning to like him and/or becomes fascinated by him over time, without fully realizing. And the reason why he gets so upset over this thing with Gwendal is that he's jealous. And Gunter could never have imagined he'd feel this way, but does not want Conrad to think badly of him so he returns Gwendal's gift... Well, I don't know. That was just the way I saw it. Amazing beautiful story. :)

May 2010

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